Convenience trumps cost for patients preferring home dialysis

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BANGALORE: Sexagenarian Jayshree Das wasn’t too sure about trying home dialysis when her doctor suggested it. The thought of undergoing surgery to insert an abdominal catheter was scary. She was on haemodialysis (hospital dialysis) when doctors suggested home dialysis (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis).

“Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis sounded creepy, but I wanted freedom from haemodialysis. I had to visit hospital thrice a week and lie down for hours on end while doctors pricked my arteries and veins. It made me feel nauseous, as at any given point of time, 300 ml of blood was outside my body,” says Jayshree, who opted for CAPD after consultation.

For Jayanthi S, 46, the world came crumbling down when she was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) around five years ago. This crops up after chronic kidney disease when these organs are no longer able to work at a level needed for day-to-day life.

“I had to quit my job. Thrice a week, I had to hook up on a dialysis machine, which was painful. This continued for three years. Now, I’m on manual dialysis (CAPD) and life is back to normal,” says the insurance company employee.

Home dialysis is becoming increasingly common. It’s USP is that it does not limit mobility though it is costlier than haemodialysis. “The number of such patients has doubled. Working professionals and people living in far-off places are opting for it. It can be done either manually or with a portable machine. Those opting for manual dialysis have to drain out the fluid twice or thrice a day, but in case of automated CAPD, it’s an overnight activity when the patient is asleep,” says Dr S Padmanabhan, chief nephrologist, BGS Hospital.

According to Dr Vincent Lloyd, head of the nephrology department, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, Narayana Health City, the number of takers for CAPD has shot up. “Haemodialysis is cheap due to manpower availability but the fact is more patients are choosing PD,” said Dr Vincent.

When it comes to performing the task at home, patients are trained by the hospital. “The training is done in the hospital for two to three weeks,” said Dr Manoharan B, consultant nephrologist, Columbia Asia Hospital.

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